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Glutamate signaling through the NMDA receptor reduces the expression of scleraxis in plantaris tendon derived cells
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Integrative Medical Biology (IMB), Anatomy.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9977-334X
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Integrative Medical Biology (IMB), Anatomy.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Integrative Medical Biology (IMB), Anatomy.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Integrative Medical Biology (IMB), Anatomy.
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2017 (English)In: BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, ISSN 1471-2474, E-ISSN 1471-2474, Vol. 18, 218Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: A body of evidence demonstrating changes to the glutaminergic system in tendinopathy has recently emerged. This hypothesis was further tested by studying the effects of glutamate on the tenocyte phenotype, and the impact of loading and exposure to glucocorticoids on the glutamate signaling machinery.

Methods: Plantaris tendon tissue and cultured plantaris tendon derived cells were immunohisto-/cytochemically stained for glutamate, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate receptor 1 (NMDAR1) and vesicular glutamate transporter 2 (VGluT2). Primary cells were exposed to glutamate or receptor agonist NMDA. Cell death/viability was measured via LDH/MTS assays, and Western blot for cleaved caspase 3 (c-caspase 3) and cleaved poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (c-PARP). Scleraxis mRNA (Scx)/protein(SCX) were analyzed by qPCR and Western blot, respectively. A FlexCell system was used to apply cyclic strain. The effect of glucocorticoids was studies by adding dexamethasone (Dex). The mRNA of the glutamate synthesizing enzymes Got1 and Gls, and NMDAR1 protein were measured. Levels of free glutamate were determined by a colorimetric assay.

Results: Immunoreactions for glutamate, VGluT2, and NMDAR1 were found in tenocytes and peritendinous cells in tissue sections and in cultured cells. Cell death was induced by high concentrations of glutamate but not by NMDA. Scleraxis mRNA/protein was down-regulated in response to NMDA/glutamate stimulation. Cyclic strain increased, and Dex decreased, Gls and Got1 mRNA expression. Free glutamate levels were lower after Dex exposure.

Conclusions: In conclusion, NMDA receptor stimulation leads to a reduction of scleraxis expression that may be involved in a change of phenotype in tendon cells. Glutamate synthesis is increased in tendon cells in response to strain and decreased by glucocorticoid stimulation. This implies that locally produced glutamate could be involved in the tissue changes observed in tendinopathy.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 18, 218
Keyword [en]
Glutamate, NMDAR1, Plantaris tendon, Tendinopathy, Scleraxis
National Category
Cell and Molecular Biology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-136330DOI: 10.1186/s12891-017-1575-4ISI: 000402332800006PubMedID: 28545490OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-136330DiVA: diva2:1113205
Available from: 2017-06-21 Created: 2017-06-21 Last updated: 2017-06-21Bibliographically approved

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